Call For Help


The Beacon Quarter, Sandyford, Dublin 18 this morning

Fluffybiscuits writes:

I am writing this with a great degree of worry for those who are living under lockdown.

I have a big enough circle of friends and some of them are suffering from mental health issues due to them being alone or looking after elderly parents.

There are tears and frustration, loneliness and despair.

Some of them are longing to see their parents or their family and others are aching for physical contact.

These people are prepared to go through the social distancing but at what mounting cost?

There must be many like me at home concerned about loved ones catching the virus and those whose mental health is going downhill. Any advice?


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19 thoughts on “Call For Help

  1. Cian

    1. Keep in contact (remotely). Through phone-calls, video-conferencing, or whatever. Send them an old-fashioned letter!
    2. Keep in contact (real world). Go visit (assuming they are reasonable local)), but stay outside – keep the 2m distance between you and them.
    3. Go give them a hug – but you need to be mindful of the risk-benefit, Yes it may temporarily help their mental health – but at the risk of killing them. Is it worth it?

    There are other options too. Dun Laoghaire libraries, for example, have a scheme whereby if you are cocooned you can phone them, tell them the sort of books/dvd you like, and the librarian will gather a selection of books/dvds and drop them to your home. They will also include a chocolate and soap. ❤︎ ❤︎ ❤︎ their local libraries may be doing something similar.

    1. fluffybiscuits

      Many thanks for that. Dun Laoghaire library sound like they are doing a sterling job

  2. Bill

    Stop being such a winge. Its a few weeks, get over it. If this affects you that much then you have serious mental health issue and should see a psychiatrist.

    1. f_lawless

      mightn’t do you any harm to go too Bill, might help you develop a greater capacity for empathy ;)

    2. broadbag

      +1 Bill, people need to get a grip and consider the true horror of the alternative to get some perspective.

  3. Janet, I ate my avatar

    I have found routine helpful, getting dressed properly, face time chats and trying to help from a distance ( example make mask, walk dogs or shop for neighbors ) I have my mum knitting baby jumpers and Dad playing Music for the neighborhood, a sense of being useful helps even in a small way,
    and actually not asking too much of yourself, don’t try learn a new skill or run a marathon in your garden unless that’s something you enjoy, be ok with getting through one day at a time, virtual hug

  4. Newname

    You know what else is bad for mental health? Hearing ambulances pass every 10 minutes while knowing the death toll is inexorably climbing.
    I’d happily support a post with some proactive advice or links to actually help mental health (fair play to you Cian), but just lockdown is bad for mental health, maybe we should can it?
    Grow up Bodger, you dangerous child.

  5. Ronan

    People are surprisingly brittle. Family, sport, shagging about and the pub etc, i.e. social outlets, seem to be papering over the cracks for unhappy humans.

    I’m quite happy in my career and home life, don’t really go out despite being a head in my younger days, and I’m doing alright. That said, I’ve worked from home before, am not single and my job is continuing for now.

    People will need to reflect on what’s important to them during and after this crisis.

  6. some old queen

    There is no doubt but all our worlds have been turned upside down of late as some things we assumed were important have just disappeared. Sitting in a room staring at four walls is easier for some than others but just me myself and I can be a learning experience. Perhaps not one you would chose but none the less, one you will remember.

    Our modern lives are so busy that we have forgotten how to just be still. We have become so conditioned to running on the stimulus treadmill that now the plug has been pulled, some are probably suffering withdrawal symptoms. So it is important to understand that a sudden shock of this kind is going to manifest itself in some way or other- usually though displaced anxiety or worry.

    Some concerns are valid but Niebuhr’s prayer comes to mind- God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference. Old Doris is always available of course- Que Sera, Sera- whatever will be will be.

    What I find helps is having a sense of perspective because there are people out there who are in a lot worse situations. Those fighting for their lives in ICUs or those who have lost a loved one and can’t even have a proper funeral, or the many who have lost their jobs and have no idea what comes next- the lists are endless- and I am grateful not to be on any of them.

  7. Enn

    It’s the loss of all external indicators of meaning. I think people go through a similar free-fall when they lose a job or a relationship – you feel thrown back into this primordial sense of nothingness: like, what is my life, what does it really consist in? When I’m told what to do all day I can ignore that, or when I can blame other people, or when I can distract myself constantly. It’s not that modern life has made us weak in this regard, I mean in the past people were so busy scrabbling to survive and dying of dysentery and stuff they rarely had to reflect to this degree, but we do, so we have to progress and develop through it as a species. It’s ultimately a good thing.

    I’m lonely in lockdown. I’ve realised that, due to difficult experiences in childhood, I learned to suspect love and vulnerability and manufacture clever ways to keep people away from me, including entering exclusively into hopeless relationships with no future time and time again. So now I’m single, which is what I have, in the end, wanted to be and made myself be. But I don’t like it anymore. I’ve realised that I need to work on this part of my behaviour and belief system and this will require a radical rewiring of habit and will be a huge undertaking but it’s become very clear to me that I need to do it or I’ll end up alone in the next pandemic lockdown, and there will be another pandemic lockdown, as well as into a future in which I will no longer be young and carefree and capable of accessing quick sex for illusory intimacy.

    That’s just me. I have single friends who’ve realised in this lockdown how happy they are that way. But if a person is lonely and disconnected it may be that they have work to do on letting people in and recognising the good people and doing the work and loving themselves, corny as that sounds.

    1. Janet, I ate my avatar

      best of luck Enn, that was very heartfelt, it can be hard to trust people but there’s gooduns out there :)

  8. Joe Small

    I find working from home in a house with my two children under three manages to occupy my time and make me busy enough to forget sometimes there’s a virus out there.
    I can drop the kids over for a month or two if you like. They also cure insomnia.

  9. edrof

    Not to brag, but I am absolutely THRIVING through this.
    Spending endless hours with my kid, giving and receiving great support from my partner
    Getting involved in regular zoom family groups.
    Getting a lot of house stuff done
    Getting out for exercise as a family
    Sleeping in
    Catching up on plenty of box sets
    Cooking family meals and all eating at the same time instead of me eating at 8 or 9 after getting home from work
    I’m dreading the idea of going back to an office.

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